8 Steps for Growing Hostas in Containers

Planting hostas in containers is a growing trend. Not only do they grow successfully in containers, they look great as well. Container hostas work great for small urban spaces, around a pool, or on a patio/deck in your backyard.

We have put together a list of 8 steps to having beautiful container hostas.

hosta in round container

1.    Select a container for your hosta. Hostas do great in several different container shapes, but make sure to keep the mature size of your hosta in mind when selecting a container size.

This will not only save you time and energy replanting down the road, but it will ensure that your hosta has enough room to grow.

2.    After you select a container, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom.

If the container doesn’t come with pre-drilled holes, you can always add them using a power drill. It is recommended to have at least one, but two or three are ideal.

3.    Add a layer of rocks at the bottom of the container. This will aid in drainage and prevent soil from falling through the drilled holes.

4.    Fill the container with nutrient rich, easy draining soil.container hosta with ivy

5.    Plant your hosta in the container. Container hostas look great alone or with ivy hanging down the side of the pot. Just make sure that any other plants you add to your hosta container have relatively similar growing conditions.

Hostas prefer to be kept in shade to partial sun, so it wouldn’t be recommended to add a plant that requires full sun.

 

6.    Water your container hosta regularly, especially in times of extreme heat and wind. Hostas like to have moist soil, but they don’t do well with drenched soil (this can cause their roots to rot). Watering once every one or two days should be good.

7.    Fertilize regularly since the nutrients in the soil will wash away with watering.

8.    Enjoy your beautiful potted hostas for years to come!

potted hosta

*Note: It’s necessary for container hostas to go through a winter dormancy just like those planted in the ground. Don’t leave the containers outside.

Instead, they should be brought into an unheated garage or porch for the winter months. Once the threat of frost is over, your containers can go back outside for the upcoming season.

Comment below with any questions or experience you’ve had growing hostas in containers!

Shade Gardens

Shade GardenDo you have a shady trouble spot in your yard? Don’t give up hope on these bare patches. Turn these trouble spots into thriving gardens by choosing shade-tolerant plants that are both colorful and easy to maintain.

How much shade?

Categorize your shady spots as light, partial, or dense shade. Partial shade receives some direct sun for a few hours of the day, while dense shade is shaded throughout the entire day.

To add just a little more light, try thinning a tree by pruning a select few branches, bearing in mind that this may need to be repeated every few years.

SoilBeneath Trees

There are additional considerations that complicate shady spots beneath trees. The thick canopy of a tree not only blocks out light, but moisture as well, leaving the soil dry and compacted. If this is the case in your shady spot, spread compost over the area several inches deep. In a year or two, earthworms will move in and help loosen up the compacted subsoil. Wait until you have a loose, crumbly soil before you begin planting. If you don’t have the patience, English ivy (Hedera helix) will grow under such difficult conditions.

Hostas and Heucheras

Design your shade garden

Once you’ve chosen your plants, arrange them from tallest to shortest, with the tallest in the back of the bed. One suggestion is a shade tolerant understory tree such as red or sugar maple or black elder, followed by shrubs like gray dogwood, and filled out with a groundcover of coral bells and hostas.

Hostas and coral bells are particularly well suited to shade gardens as they provide a punch of color to an area that might otherwise be monochromatic and dull.

Plants grown in shade generally are not as dense, have fewer flowers, and their fall colors may not be as vibrant as those grown in full sun. They may also require more supplemental water, but the reward for your efforts is turning a drab, barren patch in your yard into a vibrant and colorful garden bed.

Sources:

http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/xj0028.pdf

All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardner, Fern Marshall Bradley and Barbara W Ellis, Editors

 

 

 

‘Empress Wu’ is Here!

‘Empress Wu’ is here!  Our Starter (TC) have been going fast since they went on our website a few days ago, so hurry to get yours now so you don’t have to wait until next season.  This hosta is very new, extremely popular, and still difficult to get.

Hosta 'Empress Wu'

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’

Why all the fuss about this particular hosta? It is said to be the biggest hosta ever, over 4 feet tall with leaves over 20 inches long!  It’s so new that only the hybridizer and a couple of others have mature specimens.  The fun will be in watching ‘Empress Wu’ grow to see how big yours will get!